On April 11, more than 450 refugees left the long-suffering Rukban camp in the Syrian province of Homs, the head of the Russian Conciliation Center, Major General Viktor Kupchishin, left the humanitarian corridor. All this allows us to hope that the day is not far when the “territory of death”, as it is justly called this terrible place, will remain only in the terrible memories of unfortunate people.
As it is well known, Moscow and Damascus have repeatedly criticized Washington for forcibly holding about 50,000 internally displaced persons, mostly women and children, in the 55-kilometer security zone of the At Tanf base of the US Special Operations Forces.
Americans, of course, do not think so.
– The coalition led by the United States is here to defeat ISIS, and this is the purpose of being present in At Tanf, – said Colonel of the US Army Shaun Ryan in an email to Business Insider.
How so? Trump seems to have already announced the rout of the Islamic State. However, the same colonel admitted that US MTR instructors are training militants Magkhavir al-Tawra, members of the opposition Syrian Free Army (SFA). These fighters are also called the “Ghosts of the Desert” group, which operates not only in the province of Homs, but also Deir ez-Zor, where Wagner’s men died.
Thus, the refugees of Rukban are the human shield of the American garrison of At Tanf, in whose territory the militant training pipeline does not stop for a day. Those who, as conceived by overseas strategists, should take the place of ISIS in a new attempt to seize power in Syria. In particular, General Valery Gerasimov said in one interview that satellite and other surveillance data indicate that the real “squadrons of terrorists” are based here.
About what is happening in the military base At Tanf, which is located near the eastern border of Syria with Jordan, was first told by journalists of NBC News, specially invited to familiarize themselves with the key outpost of US special forces in the territory of the SAR. They wrote that almost all the space was occupied by shooting ranges for snipers and training grounds with dilapidated buildings in which Sunni Arabs train.
Plus, the camp Rukban is a great place to send sabotage groups and recruitment of “insurgents”, including teenagers, into the ranks of the anti-government SFA. Here in the human mass it is easy to get lost and you can easily find as many “cannon fodder” as you like.
It must be said that attempts to dislodge several hundred Pentagon marines and “green berets” from here by pro-government forces of the SAR failed, including because the use of tanks could lead to the death of Rukban camp residents. But we must pay tribute to the professionalism of the star-striped special forces: the US MTR fighters effectively use the security zone, not allowing themselves the “enemies of democracy” to the cannon shot. In this regard, in the West they called At Tanf the biggest thron for Russia in Syria.
At the same time, official Washington is trying not to set up Moscow as an enemy in the Middle East. It seems that the successful operations of the Russian troops are forcing the United States to reckon with the new reality. Today, America considers Iran, or rather Shiism, to be the main threat. In particular, the Washington edition, the unofficial mouthpiece of the State Department Foreign Policy, writes: “The US presence in At Tanf helps to block Iran’s hopes for a Shiite crescent, a continuous land bridge from Iran through Iraq and Syria to Lebanon.”
The statement, by the way, is close to the truth: the transport of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution would not seem to be a big deal to overtake the security zone of the American base, but Israeli fighters immediately fly in and hit the caravans with weapons.
On the other hand, Omar Lamrani, a senior military analyst from the center of Stratfor, the “Shadow CIA,” claims that At Tanf base and, accordingly, Rukban camp, “is the last place in Syria where the United States is present as a force on the internal policy of the SAR. ” According to Lamrani, the Russian reconciliation center would have long since achieved progress in relations with the FSA and other forces, if not for the position of Washington. Then, finally, the civil war would end.
In this regard, it is logical to speak not about a thorn, but about a dangerous abscess that “infects” the whole of Syria.
Here precisely the Penicillin counter-battery complex would be useful, since the United States MTRs protect their security zone with powerful artillery.
What is interesting: the Americans themselves also have problems with the controllability of trained militants. Many trained units assign themselves commanders, operate autonomously and even attack pro-American forces in Iraq and Syria. Max Markusen, deputy director of the Transnational Threats project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, admitted: “The United States is very dissatisfied after training insurgents in At Tanf.”
But it seems that the base At Tanf will not be closed anyway. At least in order not to give Moscow political points. Despite the December promise of President Donald Trump to withdraw all American troops from Syria, the US government will still keep part of the troops at a remote American base, Pentagon sources say to Foreign Policy. Otherwise, for the first time in the post-Soviet time, Russia will not only establish order in a country tormented by civil war, but also squeeze Americans out of it. And this will be a powerful blow to a unipolar world.
In the meantime, the situation is getting worse every day, which is indicated, among other things, by the rather harsh tone of the Russian generals.
– We urge the commanders of the American troops deployed in the At Tanf zone to arrive on April 2, 2019 at the Jleb station to participate in a meeting on planning specific measures to disband the Rukban camp, – the head of the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria said in late March Major General Viktor Kupchishin. This is not an ultimatum, but the language of hidden threats.
In turn, Washington continues to oppose in every possible way the resettlement of refugees from the “territory of death”. By the way, on March 26, the American soldiers of the 3rd Special Purpose Battalion of the 7th Marine Regiment of the operational group in Syria did not allow Russian and Syrian diplomatic and military officials to enter Rukban camp.
Clearly, such steps provoke the ire of Moscow, whose plans for the completion of the Syrian company are thwarted by some 400 marines entrenched at At Tanf base. Stratfor expert Omar Lamrani believes that the Russians may go too far to squeeze out the US MTR detachment from here. In his opinion, Moscow, naturally, will not send its soldiers to the slaughter, since, once in the SAR, it learned a lot from Washington. Under the shells and bombs, suicide bombers of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which has already declared the Pentagon a terrorist organization, will climb. True, for this it is necessary to settle the Rukban camp.
On the other hand, it is not entirely clear how events will develop if the Americans are forced to withdraw from At Tanf. After all, for the Iran, Syria is the ideal place to attack Israel. In addition, this is here, in Russia, the defeat of ISIS is viewed as a victory for the Russian troops, and in Persia they do not think so. They are confident that it was Iranian soldiers and volunteers who put things in order in the SAR.
Therefore, today Russia, Iran and Turkey need to hold something like the Yalta Conference on the post-war settlement of Syria, including taking into account the interests of the Jewish state. Otherwise, it is far from a fact that in the near future there will be no contradictions between the anti-American allies. If only because Moscow adheres to the strategy of good neighborliness with Tel Aviv. And Tehran, on the contrary, has nothing to lose. In general, for Persia, a new war with the Jewish state strengthens the bargaining position in the future, when the parties will be forced to sit at the negotiating table for the abolition of sanctions.